Supplying some much needed context for discussions of military spending in Asia:
The increase in absolute defense spending in Asia obscures an important truth, however; despite the increases, the economies of East and South Asia remain relatively demilitarized in comparison to the Cold War. Apart from North Korea, no South or East Asian country spends more than three percent of its GDP on defense. India devotes a considerably lower percentage of its economy to defense today than it did during the Cold War. Chinese military expenditures have similarly declined as percentage of GDP. Russia spends only a tiny fractionof what it spent during the Cold War, and unlike China and India it spends from a smaller pie. Japan, of course, remains constitutionally committed to 1% spending, which remains an enormous amount because of the size of the Japanese economy. By comparison, the United States currently spends 4.5% of its GDP on defense (including costs associated with the ongoing war in Afghanistan) while both Britain and France spend more than 2%.